Friday, January 15, 2010

Are you a Breast Cancer Survivor?

Do you live in Charles County, Maryland?

If you answer yes to both questions, then we'd like to hear from you for a book we're compiling titled, Portraits of Hope: The Faces and Voices of Breast Cancer Survivors in Charles County.

It doesn’t matter if you were diagnosed just recently or several years ago.

We know the numbers all too well; one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. When the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently released their new guidelines recommending against routine mammogram screening of women in their 40s, my e-mail box filled with messages from breast cancer survivors. They did not agree with the findings. Hearings were held on Capital Hill, special focus groups held conferences. Organizations were asking women to send their stories in support of mammograms at age 40.

At that point, I knew the stories of Charles County breast cancer survivors had to be told, and I needed to reach out to the community to find those stories.

I’m Roberta Kieliger, a 14-year breast cancer survivor and coordinator for Sisters at Heart Breast Cancer Survivors Group, which meets at the Richard R. Clark Center, in LaPlata, Maryland. I’m currently compiling a book of true stories about women diagnosed with breast cancer who live in Charles County, Maryland.

Being a breast cancer survivor, I know everyone deals with this differently. Sharing your story can be a source of inspiration and support for others who are coping with a breast cancer diagnosis. Your story can be long, short, or even just your name with the year and type of breast cancer and treatment.

Information we're requesting (include what you feel comfortable with, please).
Date diagnosed:
Age at time diagnosed:
Type of breast cancer:
Hormone receptors:
Lymph node involvement:
Treatment (mastectomy/lumpectomy? Months of chemo?):
Weeks radiation/chemo
Any follow-up medication such as Tamoxifen or Herceptin:
Where you had your services:
Your story:
Your story can be as long or as short as you like. Include, if possible, how you discovered you had cancer, how life is today, tips for survival, or anything else you'd like. Word count can be as little or as much as you wish to share, up to 700 words, maximum.

I do hope you will want to be a part of this group of fantastic women who are sharing their stories of living with and surviving breast cancer.

For more information, please e-mail me with your story at, or call the Richard Clark Center at 301-934-5423, and leave a message for Roberta Kieliger.